The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Mebake's picture

I came back from vacation!

I made this Barley batard (1/3 barley , 2/3 Whole Wheat), hearth bread.

Al though i used volume measurements, it turned our more or less sufficient. here it goes:

1 cup naked barley flour (1/3)

2 Cups Whole Wheat flour (2/3)

1 table spoon salt

1/4 teaspoon yeast

1.85 Cup of water, so roughly the final dough is 62% hydration (i could not elevate the hydration further because of the barley flour which kind of hinders the shaping process).

I used peter reinhart's method of delayed fermentation: i.e. split the doughs of each flower into halves, one contains yeast and goes to the fridge for 24hrs, while the other contains salt and remains outside in a warm place for 24hrs.

24hrs later, i combine the Biga (yeasted one) with the soaker (salted one), and make the bulk dough , and leave it to ferment for 1.5 hours until roughly 1.5 X the size.

Then, i scrape the fermented dough into a workspace WITHOUT de-flating it, and formed a Batard. At this point i heated the oven to 500 F, or 260 C while the bartard is left to ferment the final fermentation.

Half an hour later I used lava rocks in a Teflon cake mold and pured hot water to creat steam, and put the batard onto a parchment paper, and into the oven. the batard streched sideways, but oven rise compensated!

50 minutes later : VOILA!        VERY TASTEY

The loaf


dmsnyder's picture

We're invited for dinner tomorrow at the home of one of my favorite high school teachers. He and his wife have become our good friends over the years. I offered to bring bread and decided to bake two different breads that I think they will enjoy: The Miche, Pointe-à-Callière from Hamelman's "Bread" and my own San Joaquin Sourdough. (This version)

My wife thought the miche would be just too much, so I divided the dough and baked two boules of 820 gms each.

Boules, Pointe-à-Callière

Rather a "bold bake" of these, but I expect the caramelized crust to be very tasty. 

Boules, Pointe-à-Callière crumb

Here's another photo of the boule that's going to dinner.


And the San Joaquin Sourdough. I think it was a bit under-proofed. The oven spring was ... exuberant. 

San Joaquin Sourdough 


Submitted to Yeast Spotting


inlovewbread's picture

The inspiration for this bake:  

Susan at Wild Yeast has incredible breads on her site and I've printed out quite a few to try. This was one of them. 

I didn't have currants or pine nuts at the time, so I baked with what I had. The colors went with fall anyhow, and cranberry walnut is a winning combination. I was drawn to this recipe also for the semolina- curious to see how baking with it (vs. durum flour) would turn out.

Susan's formula was followed except for thechange of the fennel, currants and pine nuts. I also had to make adjustments for the starter as the hydration of my starter is 50% instead of the 100% starter called for in the formula. The crumb is a lot tighter than in a regular baguette, but I was relieved to see the pictures on Susan's blog to be similar to mine :-) I don't know how easy it is to get big holes with 50% semolina...

We all loved the taste of these baguettes and couldn't get enough. It was actually sad when they were gone. I plan on making this same formula, but shaped as a crown instead- for the holidays coming up. It would be a beautiful centerpiece lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Hmmm..I may have to make a practice loaf for that....

Thanks to Susan from Wild Yeast/ Yeast Spotting for sharing this recipe!

inlovewbread's picture

I've been wanting to try "Pain Normande" ever since seeing it on SteveB's blog recently. Not only did I want to attempt to replicate his lovely bread, but I also conveniently have a ton of apples that I needed to use up. There are a lot of orchards around where I live so it's easy to come by (free!) great apples and fresh pressed apple cider. So, I threw a bunch of these apples in the dehydrator and got out the cider for this loaf. 

It's funny- I just read dmsnyder's blog about this very bread the day before I planned to bake. I'm glad I did because I took some of his findings/ comments into consideration. I wanted to avoid an "earthy" whole wheat flavor and instead taste more sweet apple taste. I've been baking Susan's Simple Sourdough almost every week and have been tweaking that recipe here and there and wanted to add some type of add-in, now that I have a good foundation for that loaf. Long story short, I basically disregarded the original pain normande formula and instead, made-up one based on Susan's Simple Sourdough. 

Here's what I used:

51g 50% Firm Starter

250g KA Bread Flour

40g Durum Flour

10g White Whole Wheat Flour (freshly ground)

6g Sea Salt

175g Apple Cider

25g Water

1/3 cup chopped, Dried Apples

I used the double hydration technique, mixing starter, and 110g flour (all flours mixed) for 3 minutes. THen added the rest of the flours and mixed in a KA for 3 minutes. 20 min rest, add salt, stretch and fold and incorporate apples. Then I did 3 more sets of S+F's at 30 min intervals. Into brotform and retard overnight. Take out 1 hour before bake and pre-heat oven to 460f. Baked 20 min w/ bowl ("magic bowl") and 25 min uncovered, last 5 min w/ oven door open.

Overall, I think it turned out pretty well. I was a little concerned at first when we cut into it that it was under-baked because it was a little tacky. I think this was caused by 1: not waiting long enough for it to cool (waited one hour, but it could've been more) 2: too much durum flour. If I use this percentage of durum flour again, I would use AP flour instead of bread flour for a little less gluten chew. Or, just use about half the % of durum and more WW flour. 3: The cider- it was really thick, so I think it helped to create a tighter crumb and chewier/dense texture. (i suspect, I don't know.) Anyway, I was very pleased the next day with this bread. It tasted so much better after an overnight sit in a brown paper bag. This bread was really good toasted. So next time, I would let it sit for 1/2 a day or more before cutting into it.

Oh, and as for the scoring- I wish I'd cut all the way around the apple stencil. Ah, next time...




breadnik's picture


I developed this recipe when I was missing my traditional Russian coriander-rye bread but did not yet have enough skills or confidence to try making it in its classic form, which requires both the sourdough starter and the soaker and includes no wheat flour whatsover. However, I was mindful of a different Russian rye bread (we have a few dozen of them), just as sweet and flavorful but made with caraway and wheat flour, a little less coarse, more tender, but still very full-bodied. This recipe combines some properties of both of them (while actually being neither), and has an important advantage: it is simple enough for a novice.

Here is the recipe (makes two ~1-pound loaves), all measurements in grams:

Dark Rye Flour 270
White Bread Flour 80
Whole Wheat Flour (as coarse as you can get) 80
Vital Wheat Gluten 80
Yeast 4
Sea Salt 12
Freshly Ground Coriander Seeds 4
Honey 60
Molasses 60
Water 280-300
Canola Oil 30

This is a direct dough designed for overnight fermentation (hence low yeast content). I measure and mix all my dry ingredients, then add my wet ingredients one by one, with water going in last. If the dough turns out too sticky, add a tad more wholewheat flour. You may want to knead it but I usually get by with 2-3 stretch-and-folds.

If I want my loaves to be sprinkled with flour, I shape the loaves on a heavily floured board. If I want them shiny I shape them on my tiled countertop, lightly sprayed with canola oil to prevent sticking, and spray them with water just before sprinkling them with coriander seeds and putting them in the oven. The baking is as usual: at 475, with steam in the first few minutes, for about 10 minutes, then decrease temperature (I usually turn it down to 325 with convection) and bake until the internal temperature reaches 185-190F.

Charles Luce's picture
Charles Luce


crunchybaguette's picture


I baked this hand shaped loaf and a dozen others yesterday in an artisan bread bakery I work for in New Zealand. About 80 in total.



It is made with a cold overnight poolish at 125% of the overall dough weight, receives a fairly decent bulk fermentation and a quality hearth bake.



Love to hear some feedback from bread lovers around the world.





jimk90804's picture

It seems that often my bread products turn out too dense and doughy tasting.  For example yesterday I had lunch at a church's and their biscuits were delightful, I looked up the recipe when I got home to see if I could make them as good (from a knockoff recipe on the internet) and they were pretty much a disaster, too dense and doughy tasting what could I be doing wrong.

I have had good recults baking some bread recipes from Clayton Bairds book "Complete Book of Breads".

Shiao-Ping's picture

Two girl friends came for tea this morning.  In the past I would have toiled for weeks (no kidding) to prepare the most exquisite desserts and pastries that I could think of for our tea.  Since I started making sourdough breads, my taste bud has changed.  Just as well, Chinese tea is not meant to be enjoyed with sweets.  We just drank and drank until we were hungry.  We then had the finger sandwiches that I made earlier for lunch with the two Pains au Levain that I baked yesterday - Snow Peas Pain au Levain and Carrot Pain au Levain.



                                                                     Celebration for summer colors



                           Snow peas butter, bacon and snow peas sprouts in Snow Peas Pain au Levain



                                     Smoked ocean trout, avocado and lemon in Carrot Pain au Levain



                                             Asparagus and crème fraiche in Snow Peas Pain au Levain


My Formula for Carrot Pain au Levain

  • 450 g starter @ 75% hydration (5% rye flour)

  • 450 g flour (5% rye flour and the balance white bread flour)

  • 282 g carrot juice (from 455 g peeled carrot, or 4 - 5 carrots)

  • 55 g orange juice (from 112 g orange, or 1/2 orange, skin included )

  • 14 g salt

Total dough weight 1.2kg (divided into two) and approx dough hydration 72 - 75%



My Formula for Snow Peas Pain au Levain

  • 500 g starter @ 75% hydration (5% rye flour)

  • 500 g flour (5% rye flour and the balance white bread flour)

  • 660 g peas puree (made up of 500 g frozen peas cooked in 30 g oil + 2 garlic + salt to taste, then blended with 130 g water added)

  • 12 g salt

Total dough weight 1.6kg (divided into two) and approx. dough hydration 67 - 70% (based on assumption that there is 30 to 35% liquid in peas.)



Procedure for both breads

  1. Mix only the flour and carrot/orange juice (or peas puree).  Autolyse for an hour.

  2. Combine with starter and salt; stretch & folds in bowl, 60 - 70 strokes (very messy, especially the peas dough)

  3. Bulk ferment for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (my room temperature was 25 - 26 C) with one set of S&F's.

  4. Divide into two doughs and pre-shape and shape into cylinder or any shape you like.

  5. Proof for 2 hours (my room temperature was 25 - 26 C)

  6. Retard in refrigerator for 10 hours.

  7. Bake with steam at 220C for 35 minutes (carrot bread) or 40 minutes (peas bread).



Leftover bread crumbs for a bread quiche for dinner tonight:  I soaked the above leftover bread crumbs (from making the finger sandwiches) in chicken stock, then added some vegetables (Swiss mushroom, butternut squash, capsicum, and cherry tomatoes), eggs, cream and cheese and made a bread quiche.  The idea came from making bread and butter pudding the other day using staled walnuts and raisins sourdough. 




                                                                         Enough bread to sink a ship


breadnik's picture

Having used this site for ages, and having greatly appreciated and learned from the collective wisdom of my fellow bakers, I finally decided to join the Fl. So now, I figured, is as good a time to introduce myself as ever.

Here's my story. A couple of years ago I did not know how to bake anything. All the foolproof recipes that my more baking-talented friends gave me simply said, "add as much flour as the dough will take" or "knead until the dough would stop sticking" -- but the dough would take as much as I'd give it or will never stop sticking, thought I! I honestly tried baking bread a few times, and failed miserably every time, producing absolutely ugly loaves that were as heavy as a brick, and as raw on the inside as they were burnt on the outside -- in other words, completely and utterly inedible. After a while the word "yeast" would send me into a major panic mode, even though in all other respects I was a very fearless and rather successful cook.

And then some kind soul sent me the link to the youtube no-knead bread recipe. Now THAT seemed totally foolproof. I worked up some courage and decided to try it. It came out! Not to push my luck too far I waited a few days and then tried it again. It came out again! At that point, having gained just the tiniest bit of self-confidence, I started reading cookbooks and trying some "real" recipes. Some came out, some didn't. But my failures ended up being even more educational than my successes -- I started actually "getting it."

One day early this summer I was at a local farmers' market. I had a loaf of my Russian corainder-rye bread that I brought at the request of a friend. Well, the friend couldn't come to the market, so I gave the loaf to the market manager. As soon as the market ended that day, she found me through common friends and asked me if I could become a vendor at the market. Apparently, my bread was different enough from everything else that was available that she wanted to have me join them.

It took me a little time to rework my recipes from cups/spoons into grams and milliliters (my brain works in metric only) and to figure out how to scale up from baking 10-15 loaves a week to over 100 in one day (for the market, I generally make a push and bake all of my 120-150 loaves on Friday, but that would be all of my weekly baking). By mid-July I started selling my breads at the market. I absolutely love it! It is very hard work, it doesn't make a lot of money (although I am not in the red, thank goodness!) but I feel that after a lifetime of working much less "real" kind of jobs I'm finally doing something that makes people happy. At least, my customers' faces make it all worth my while.


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